Report Raises Questions About Access to Care for California Kids
The number of children who sought care from private physicians declined by 9% from 2003 to 2005, according to a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research report released on Monday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports
The report was based on surveys of as many as 50,000 Californians, including 10,000 children.
Findings on Coverage, Access
Researchers maintain that the health of many children in California could "limit their social, emotional and academic development" (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/20).
For example, from 2001 to 2005, researchers found that one in 10 children was uninsured at some point in the previous year (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/20).
Researchers found the fewest lapses in health insurance coverage among white and Asian children and the most coverage gaps among Hispanic children (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/20).
In addition, researchers found greater use of public health insurance programs and increased reliance on public clinics and hospitals from 2001 to 2005 (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 10/20).
David Grant, the report's lead author, said that declining rates of families receiving employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and growing enrollment in public health insurance programs are troublesome in light of California's budget problems.
Findings on Public Health Issues
Beyond health insurance coverage, the report indicates that more children ages five and younger are undergoing annual dental exams.In addition, the percentage of overweight children ages five and younger in California dropped from 14% in 2001 to 12% in 2005, according to the report (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/20). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.